Be Glad it’s Difficult!

Be Glad it’s Difficult!

In a recent blog, I spoke about Nicki’s attitude regarding weight loss—specifically that she saw it as really hard, difficult. I told her she needed to reframe her attitude. Please read the rest of that blog—How Badly Do You Want It?—to discover the point I was making.

Today I want to touch on that specific attitude: seeing something as difficult, an uphill struggle. Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” In other words, losing weight is neither easy nor difficult, it simply is what it is—the act of losing weight. If you think it’s going to be easy, that’s what it’ll be; if you see it as difficult, you can count on it being a tortuous struggle. Are you catching on? Your thinking is the controlling factor, not the act itself. Or, once again, to offer one of my favorite quotes, from Henry Ford, “If you think you can do a thing, or if you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

The title of this blog is Be Glad it’s Difficult! Now why would I say that? Why should you be glad your goal is a difficult one? Wouldn’t it be much better if it was a snap, a pleasant walk in the woods, instead of a climb up Mount Everest?

No! And that’s the most emphatic “No” you’re ever going to hear out of me.

To use Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous words, “let me count the ways” you should be glad it isn’t easy:

A worthy (i.e. challenging) goal accomplished provides a level of internal satisfaction commensurate to the effort expended. When you pour a glass of water and drink it, do you even notice you completed a task? Probably not. How satisfied with yourself do you think you’re going to be after you swim the English Channel, basking in all that glory?

A worthy goal accomplished brings recognition from near and afar—from friends and family, colleagues, the press and other respected institutions. Think you’re going to be recognized for making a well-executed left turn at a quiet intersection? Starting to see the picture?

The rewards of a worthy goal are commensurate to the effort you put forth. If you want to earn a lot of money, it isn’t going to happen by just crossing the street, or saying, “Would you like fries with that?” The more difficult the job—the less people there are to do that job—the higher the pay is going to be.

We all need challenges to make us feel fully alive! If everything was easy, we’d be bored to death. This is why so many of my fellow retirees are going bonkers, while yours truly is having the time of his life writing books and blogs and, hopefully, making a difference.

And finally there’s this: if it was too damn easy, they’d be lining up around the block to do it, and all the others reasons above would go out the door so fast it’d make the blink of an eye seem like an eternity.

So, now you know: something “difficult,” truly challenging, is reason for celebration, not a lot of useless moaning and groaning or feeling sorry for yourself.